Monday, February 3, 2014

Just One Day ~ Gayle Forman (audio) review

Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Dutton Juvenile
January 8, 2013
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Penguin Audio
January 3, 2013
10 hours, 29 minutes
Kathleen Mcinerney, narrator
add to Goodreads/buy from Audible/or B&N

From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay
Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the "accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon! (synopsis from paperback edition, published by Speak)
It was beyond time for me to read Gayle Forman's Just One Day. I'm a big fan of If I Stay and an even bigger fan of  Where She Went, its follow-up, both of which I listened to so I had high hopes for Just One Day.

I don't think I read the synopsis for this at all, or if I did it was back in 2012 when I added it to my 'to-read' list on Goodreads . . . Whatever the case, I didn't know what the plot was going into it. I'm really glad I didn't.

Just One Day is so much more than it seems at first. As the paperback's (I like it much better than the hardcover/audio version as it reveals much less plot) synopsis says, "Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . "

At its start we meet Allyson who is a very straight arrow teenage girl on a post-graduation trip.She believes that her neat, precise, planned life is what she thinks she likes and wants. Until a chance encounter with Willem leads to a day that not only will she never forget but which will change her life forever.

It's here that Just One Day seems like it's going to be this perfect romance . . . and in some ways it is. But it also isn't.

It's so much more as well. That day, just one day, really changes Allyson and who she is. We see the transformation in Allyson, in her friendships, in her academic life, in her relationship with her parents, in how she sees herself even. The events of twenty-four hours lead to a lot of self-discovery for Allyson, but also leave her with some lingering questions.

While the romance is kind of perfect, it's also set in just about the most perfect place and at a prime time in Allyson's life (between high school and college) for a big change in her life. It's all around rather amazing.

Just One Day is one of my favorite kinds of books to listen to, instead of read. Books with foreign locations and/or any foreign language in them are ones that I, especially, love listening to. I know that I'll get the proper pronunciation of things (which I may not always do myself, let's be honest). Hearing things pronounced correctly - immediately - not only keeps the story flowing but pulls me more into the story and the location. It's much easier to imagine I'm in Paris or wherever with the characters when the French, etc is just there.

Kathleen Mcinerney, who also narrated All the Truth That's In Me and Sworn to Silence that I've previously listened to and enjoyed, does a very nice job. She sounds the correct age for Allyson and does a very nice job of staying with the characters different emotions. Mcinerney also does a great job handling the different voices, accents, and languages of the different characters and well as keep them consistent. It's easy to tell which characters are which as we go back and forth, though Allyson is, by far, the primary speaker.

Just One Day is a book I highly, highly recommend and the audio version is a fantastic listen!

Rating: 10/10

Other books you may also enjoy:  13 Little Blue Envelopes series by Maureen Johnson and the Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins

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